As you might have already guessed, I'm not a huge fan of going to Disney World. I'm glad the wife and kids have fun there, they can have it. I went once as a small child, then again twice in high school with various choirs and after that I had no desire to return but still had fond memories of the place. As a responsible parent, I know taking the kids to Disney is one of those things that you just have to do once when they are an appropriate age. I did it, check that off of the responsible parent list, and I won't go back until we're taking the grandkids. And as much as I don't like writing negative posts, I bet I'm not the only one who thinks the magic kingdom is a gateway to Hell.
When we were in Orlando last week the parks were in full scrotal conditions. It was the kind of dead of summer heat that makes my Seasonal Affective Disorder kick in. I get upset just walking from my air conditioned house to my air conditioned car in those conditions, and I'm supposed to enjoy spending all day outside in that? no. All the no's.
I hate large crowds of people. As an empath apparently this is typical behavior. I'm certainly not a germaphobe, in fact I'm more in the "purell gives you cancer" crowd, but large crowds of people, especially with a high concentration of non-americans can bring a very high probability of new bug exposure. Anyone remember SARS? I saw an older asian woman cough violently near me while holding a t-shirt, then put the t-shirt back on the rack in front of me. That's when I was ready to leave that store. And of course the kids had to touch everything they could possibly come in contact with. The voice in my head screamed "don't touch that" every 10 seconds. Call it a diverse bacterial pool.
The long lines don't really bother me. They did when I was younger, but now as an old guy I have patience, and they usually make you stand in line in the shade so it's actually more comfortable than standing around in the rest of the park. And you get 3 fastpasses a day now, which is a thing of beauty. With a fastpass, you arrive at a ride at a specific time and you go to the head of the line so there's no waiting. The downside to this is that anyone without a fastpass on that ride now has to wait longer thanks to you. So the rides you don't have fastpasses for have a longer wait than they used to.
I don't understand the appeal to waiting in line to get a picture & signature with a princess. Some of those things had 90 minute wait times! It's just a college student in a costume. Why not put like 5 of them in every park so nobody has to wait?
The main reason I prefer snow to heat is that I am a fairly affectionate person. I like to hug people, and hold hands with the wife sometimes. But in sticky heat when I have to be covered in sunscreen I don't want anyone to be near me or come anywhere close to touching me. It's the main reason I don't really enjoy going to the beach in summertime. I feel miserable, disgusting, and don't want anyone else to be close enough to smell me. If I could design my own personal Hell it would be a hot sticky sweaty disgusting place filled with large crowds of people where you spend 80% of your time waiting on something. Oh wait, that's Disney World. Every day I woke up, took a shower before breakfast, then put on sunscreen. I felt clean for - at most - 15 minutes a day.
The meal plan sucked. I mean, it didn't totally suck, but man. I like to eat 3 meals a day of reasonable proportion and a few snacks with plenty of water. The "meal plan" is one snack, one counter meal, and one sit down meal for each night you're in the hotel. What that really meant is that I spent all day hungry until we got to sit down and eat until I hated myself, thanksgiving style. We had 4 nights in the hotel and 5 days in the park so we ran out of meal plan in the end (which is what you're supposed to do). What they called a counter meal was a normal portion regular meal. The sit down meals were typically in the $25 - $50 per person smorgasboards. And yes, I will totally admit that the $33 steak I had in the Beasts' castle is one of the better steaks I've ever eaten. So it's not all bad. But if you want to be all inclusive then be all inclusive. I should be able to eat 3 meals a day. Every meal comes with a drink and dessert, that really is bad form too. Alcohol is not included in the meal plan. If every meal comes with a drink and you sell Bud Light, you're not really being all inclusive. The basic premise of skip breakfast, eat a light lunch, and gorge yourself on dinner is why America has an obesity problem. The meal plan is only trying to spread that plan to the rest of the world.
|I did actually gain 7 lbs the week I was in the park. Even with all of that walking.|
Originally, I was actually excited to have my family in central Florida. I wanted to leave the parks around noon on Friday so we could go do this gator tour thing I did when I was in Cocoa Beach for a work thing last year. The kids would go nuts in the Ron Jon Surf Shop, and I found the best fish tacos at a restaurant in Cocoa Beach that Kelley would love. Then on Saturday the Mets were playing a spring training game in Port St Lucie about an hour south of Cocoa. we could drive to Tybee after the game. But I was so miserable the entire time in the park the mission on Friday became to get out of Florida as soon as possible. Halfway through Thursday I was totally done and ready to head back to NC. But, you know, it's a magical place.
My butthole is a magical place too, but you don't want to spend too much time there either.
At the end of the day, Disney is a for-profit, publicly traded, Giant Evil Corporation (GEC). And as much as they want to create magic. all they really care about in the end is sucking as much of your money away from you as possible, like any other GEC. They are really good at it. Just because they don't pay off politicians like Koch does, or buy legislation like Monsanto, they are just as evil. And just as hungry for those profits. There's 3 gift shops for every ride now, and every show ends with another gift shop. I didn't buy any souvenirs while I was there. Kelley and the kids went nuts. They charge an obscene amount to include staying at the resort hotel, going to the park, and eating on the meal plan. it's awful.
My favorite part of taking a trip like this is the spontaneity. I don't like to plan more than a hotel reservation, and even those can be optimistic. You go somewhere, explore, find a cool restaurant nearby, maybe discover that the town has an aquarium or museum. Time becomes fluid on vacation. Kelley has been planning this trip since October. We had to plan what parks we were going to be at on what days and what times we were going to ride the fast passes and where our dinner reservations were. We had to set alarms to wake up on time 4 of the 5 days. Disney starts out with Hell, then takes away all of the fun parts and you pay three times as much as a fun vacation.
So what went right?
These complaints are all in the environment that was created here and have no reflection on my lovely wife who planned the whole thing or my parents who paid for the entire trip. I just don't understand why people think that place is fun? Why would you go there without kids age 5-10? Why would you go back after you've been once and know how awful it is? it makes absolutely no sense to me. But surely the entire thing couldn't have been totally miserable for me?
I am very grateful for getting to spend that much time with my family and my parents. There was all of the normal conflict like when EG doesn't want to pose for a picture, but for the most part everyone got along really well. And it has been many years since I've been able to see my parents on a daily basis, much less spend the entire day with them!
It may be true that I only eat steak about once every 2 or 3 years, but as I mentioned before that was a fantastic steak. The other sit-down meals that we had were incredibly tasty, even if they were over-indulgent. The Gray Stuff dessert was actually delicious at Be Our Guest, I didn't have to ask the dishes. The buffet of appetizers in Norway was incredible, much better than the pork chop entree. So the ridiculously overpriced food is really tasty, even if the meal plan overall is very frustrating.
Beer. I didn't know they sold beer in Disney, and that was really a saving grace. Getting to knock back that many cold ones with my dad was really fun. And Germany in Epcot center has some really good beers.
Now I know, definitively, that Hell still contains plenty of girls with giant hooters. Somehow, that gives me comfort.
And finally, today, Mom mailed us printouts of her pictures and that included this one. Evil Genius is now the luckiest guy in Disney World.
And that is the best way to me to get off of my soap box and back into happy positive healthy-training-weight loss-swimming-running-Raleigh Rocks blogger mode!